|Publication number||US20090010461 A1|
|Application number||US 11/772,374|
|Publication date||Jan 8, 2009|
|Filing date||Jul 2, 2007|
|Priority date||Jul 2, 2007|
|Also published as||CN101878635A, EP2163081A1, WO2009005852A1|
|Publication number||11772374, 772374, US 2009/0010461 A1, US 2009/010461 A1, US 20090010461 A1, US 20090010461A1, US 2009010461 A1, US 2009010461A1, US-A1-20090010461, US-A1-2009010461, US2009/0010461A1, US2009/010461A1, US20090010461 A1, US20090010461A1, US2009010461 A1, US2009010461A1|
|Inventors||Gunnar Klinghult, Kent Palsson, Colin Eckhart|
|Original Assignee||Gunnar Klinghult, Kent Palsson, Colin Eckhart|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (22), Classifications (16), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The wired earbud headset 100 includes a body component 110 that receives a wire 130 on one end that is connected (or connectable) to a portable wireless communication device and rounded bulbous portion on the other end that is adapted to fit snugly and comfortably within the user's ear. The rounded bulbous portion includes the earbud itself 120 that is wrapped around a small speaker component 150 (shown in
The sensors 140 can vary in type but are designed to sense one or more biological characteristics of the user including, but not limited to, body temperature, heart rate, perspiration/dehydration characteristics, and blood chemistry analysis.
With respect to body temperature, a thermal sensor designed and adapted to sense the body temperature of the user when the thermal sensor is in contact with the user's ear can be implemented. Accurate body temperature readings that are sent to and processed by a portable mobile communications device (or other similar device) and displayed to the user can provide for detection and advanced warning of serious medical conditions such as heatstroke. The user can immediately take corrective/preventive action to reduce his/her core body temperature.
With respect to heart rate, the sensors could comprise a pair of electrodes in contact with the user's skin within the ear. A differential amplifier could measure the voltage signal between each electrode to obtain a heart rate value. The electrodes (sensors) can be made of conducting rubber or plastic that can be a part of the acoustical seal towards the ear.
With respect to perspiration/dehydration, the resistivity between the electrodes described above can be measured. The resistivity is an indication of transpiration that can be used in a calculation to determine a level of dehydration of the user. The information can be presented to the user via a display on the portable mobile communications device (or other similar device) prompting the user to start drinking liquids to re-hydrate.
With respect to blood chemistry analysis, the sensors could be a collection of microneedles that pierce the skin of the user when the headset assembly is operatively inserted into the user's ear. The microneedles can be inserted into the bloodstream of the user allowing for blood chemistry readings that can be passed to a portable mobile communications device (or other similar device) and presented to the user.
One such blood chemistry reading can be a measure of lactic acid in the bloodstream as well as a measure of blood glucose levels. Also, blood oxygen levels can be determined. Such readings can provide insight when performing physical training.
The exterior of the wireless earbud headset 300 includes a body portion 310 that houses the internal communications components (e.g., RF transceiver, antenna, etc.) and an earbud portion 320 that includes a speaker component 330. Near the bottom of the body portion 310 is a microphone 340. Also shown are control buttons 350 for assisting in the operation of the wireless earbud headset 300. Not shown is an over-the-ear piece that is sometimes included with certain designs that helps hold the entire assembly in place when the earbud is inserted into the user's ear canal. Also shown displaced about the outside of earbud 320 are one or more sensors of the type previously described above.
A wired headset 100 or a wireless headset 300 as shown in
The embodiments described herein also contemplate additional data exchanges relating to user biometric conditions as determined by sensors displaced about the headset assembly. The sensors gather various biological data from the user as a result of being in contact with the user's skin. This biological data is then forwarded to the portable mobile communications device via the headset assembly to a be input to a specific application that processes the biological data and presents it to the user via one or more of the output options available to the portable mobile communications device.
The lower part of body portion 810 includes a boom pivot 830 that couples the boom arm 840 and the body portion 810 so that the boom arm 840 can be pivotally moved to and held in contact with the user's ear lobe such that the microneedles penetrate the earlobe when the entire headset assembly 800 is operatively inserted into the user's ear. The body portion 810 is also coupled to an earbud 820 that surrounds or is comprised of a speaker component 850. Also within the body portion 810 is a signal multiplexer 860 that serves to combine sensor 850 signals and audio signals together. Alternatively, the sensor signals and the audio signals can remain independent and be separately conveyed between the wired earbud headset 100 and the other device.
In a typical application, a user may wish to monitor the progress of a workout using the system described herein. For example, the user is about to embark on a 5 mile run and wishes to track his/her vital statistics during the exercise period. The user inserts a bio-sensor equipped earbud headset assembly (either wired or wireless) into his/her ear and ensures that it is operatively coupled with a portable mobile communications device (or other portable device). The sensors monitor various biological characteristics such as body temperature, perspiration/dehydration, blood pressure, pulse rate, etc. This data is then periodically forwarded to the portable mobile communications device where it is processed according to a resident software application. Based on the parameters of the software application, the bio data is formatted and output to the user for analysis. For instance, the portable mobile communications device display can provide temperature, pulse, and blood pressure updates at pre-defined intervals during the exercise period. The user can inspect these readings to determine whether to increase his/her level of exertion or keep it the same. The software can be programmed to alert the user when certain threshold or benchmark levels have been met or obtained. These threshold/benchmark levels can indicate personal goal achievements or dangerous level indicators.
The workout information can be saved internally to a storage device where it can be later downloaded to another device for further analysis that can track personal progress over longer time periods.
In another application, the user can keep the headset assembly in place during normal activity to monitor certain bio-characteristics that can be processed to indicate a level of stress the user may be experiencing. If the stress level exceeds a predefined threshold, the user can be alerted and attempt to relax him/her self.
While the present disclosure has used a portable mobile communications device as an illustrative example for a device in communication with the various embodiments of earbud headsets described herein, it would be obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize another portable type device such as, but not limited to, an MP3 player (e.g., an Apple IPOD™ or the like), a personal digital assistant device (PDA), or a laptop computer or other portable/mini/micro computing device. The device in communication with the headset embodiments described herein may vary without affecting the function of the headset embodiments described herein.
The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof.
Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, those of ordinary skill in the art appreciate that any arrangement which is calculated to achieve the same purpose may be substituted for the specific embodiments shown and that the invention has other applications in other environments. This application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations of the present invention. The following claims are in no way intended to limit the scope of the invention to the specific embodiments described herein.
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|U.S. Classification||381/309, 381/311|
|International Classification||H04R5/02, H04R5/04|
|Cooperative Classification||H04M1/6058, G06F19/3406, A61B5/0008, H04R1/1016, H04M2250/12, A61B5/0002, A61B5/6817, H04R2420/07, A61B5/0205|
|European Classification||A61B5/68B2B1D, A61B5/00B, H04R1/10B|
|Jul 2, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SONY ERICSSON MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AB, SWEDEN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KLINGHULT, GUNNAR;PALSSON, KENT;ECKHART, COLIN;REEL/FRAME:019506/0370;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070619 TO 20070625